Prisoner had phone hidden in his dressing gown pocket

Norwich Crown Court

Norwich Crown Court - Credit: Judd

A prisoner hid a mobile phone in his dressing down pocket after struggling to get access to phones in lockdown, a court heard.

John Storey, 40, was at the time in Bedford jail when prison officers got a tip-off about the phone and told Storey they planned to search his cell, Norwich Crown Court heard. 

Rahul Kumar, prosecuting, said Storey admitted to having the phone in his dressing gown pocket and said he was keeping it for someone, but could not say who it was.

Mr Kumar said when his cell was searched, the phone was found where Storey told them it could be found.

He said when questioned Storey said he was taking full responsibility for the phone.

He said that he had used the phone to speak to family as there had been only three phones between 135 prisoners.

Storey, from Hethersett, admitted having an unauthorised item in jail  in December, last year.

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Michael Clare, for Storey, said that there had been a delay in the case coming to court and Storey had now been released from jail and been making progress with the help of the Intergrated Offender Management Scheme.

He said that Storey had already been punished as after the phone was found in his cell he lost all his privileges.

He said that Storey had been working in the prison but because of this offence he lost that opportunity and was instead locked up for 23 and half hours a day in his cell instead of being allowed out to do work.

He said that the lockdown was difficult for prisoners and  it was now recognised that there should be more access to phones in jail.

He said that Storey was making a great deal of progress since his release and the court heard a report from one the offender management team about what strides he had made.

Recorder John Hardy accepted Storey had made good progress with the support and enlightened way he was being helped by the offender team.

He imposed a a six month jail sentence suspended for a year.